Japanese Orphanage welcomes NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka volunteers
YOKOSUKA, Japan – “They were so kind,” said Hikariko, an 8-year old girl who resides at the Shunko Gakuen Boys and Girls Home in Yokosuka, Japan, where Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka Sailors volunteered during a community relations event Oct. 12.
More than 20 Sailors traveled to the orphanage located on the Miura Peninsula between Tokyo Bay, to the east and Sagami Bay, to the west, in order to give back to their local community.
The Shunko Gakuen Boys and Girls Home has been caring for children since the end of World War II, when the need to care for many war orphans arose. Today, the facility continues caring for approximately 80 children ranging front infants to high school students and provides the aid and welfare to support healthy and peaceful lives.
Orphanage staff members were overwhelmed by the generosity of the Americans who came to share games, toys, smiles and hugs.
“The American people seem that they simply want the children to have a great time,” said Hidekazu Koyama, assistant director of Shunko Gakuen. “For the children, interaction with people from the base is always a fun experience and I want the children to know there are people who care about them.”
Koyama added that the employees at the home have many things to do, especially when it comes to taking care of small children. Having the Sailors simply there to play with the children is important because it provides them a fun and enjoyable experience.
For one Sailor who took part, it allowed him to show his host-nation how much he cares for them and how the U.S. Navy cares for the children’s welfare.
“It felt really good, a lot of the young kids were shy at first but they warmed up to us pretty quickly, playing games and having fun, so it’s nice to see smiles on their faces and at least we can make a difference even if it’s in a small way like this,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander March, an event volunteer.
March also thought that volunteering out in the community helped show how “we are just friendly down-to-earth people, like them.”
“I think it really helps strengthen the joint relationship between our countries,” March said.
Many of the children said that they wanted the Sailors to visit them again.
“I enjoyed very much,” said Sho, a 9-year old boy who lives at the home and enjoyed playing soccer with the Sailors.
“We appreciate greatly [NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka] volunteering for us,” said Koyoma.
After the day spent at the orphanage it was back to work for the logistics Sailors whose responsibility it is to provide the best possible support to their Fleet customers.
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, one of eight fleet logistics centers under NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS), is the Western Pacific region's largest U.S. Navy logistics command. Headquartered just 26 miles due south of Tokyo, the enterprise networks more than 20 sites from Misawa, Japan, to Sydney, Australia; Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Guam with a mission to deliver supply and logistics solutions that enable deployed maritime warfighter readiness in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
NAVSUP GLS provides global logistics for a global Navy. The organization is made up of approximately 6,300 military and civilian logistics professionals operating from 105 locations worldwide, providing an extensive array of integrated global logistics and contracting services to Navy, Marine Corps, joint operational units, and allied forces across all warfare enterprises.
The NAVSUP and Navy Supply Corps team as a whole shares one mission -- to deliver sustained global logistics and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. NAVSUP/Navy Supply Corps' diverse team of more than 25,000 civilian and military personnel oversee a diverse portfolio including supply chain management for material support to Navy, Marine Corps, joint and coalition partners, supply operations, conventional ordnance, contracting, resale, fuel, transportation, security assistance, and quality-of-life issues for our naval forces, including food service, postal services, Navy Exchanges, and movement of household goods. The NAVSUP/Navy Supply Corps team forms a vast network of professionals who deliver unparalleled products and services to customers in the fleet and across the world.
For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/navsup/.